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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Dhoni breathes life at Indore Holkar stadium - wins match and MoM award

Indore, located in Madhya Pradesh is 190 km off Bhopal.   It is called Ahilya nagari.  It is the only city of India that has both an Indian Institute of Management (IIM) and an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT).   Indore is the Holkar region, as it was ruled by the Maratha Maharajas of the Holkar dynasty. In 1818, the Holkars were defeated by the British in the Third Anglo-Maratha War, and the Holkar kingdom became a part of the British.  After India's independence in 1947, Indore, along with a number of neighbouring princely states, became part of the Indian state of Madhya Bharat. Indore was designated the summer capital of this newly created state. On 1 November 1956, Madhya Bharat was merged into Madhya Pradesh and Bhopal was chosen as the capital.

The game’s fatal attraction is its unpredictability.  Like many others, me too voiced that Rohit Sharma has been given too many chances – he silenced all with that ton in T20 followed by a grand 150 in ODI no. 1, which went in vain.  With due credits, others failed him – but when Sachin scored a century and India lost, people with scant regard for real statistics would start speaking that when Sachin scores a ton, India will lose !!

Dhoni was facing lot of criticism – some seemingly started writing him off – stating that he is no longer the finisher he was; his ability was waning and et.  al .. today Dhoni silenced them all once again.  Defending 247, India pulled off a 22-run victory in the second ODI against South Africa in Indore, to level the five-match series 1-1. It was MS Dhoni who  compiled 92* to lift India to 247 for nine providing platform for the bowlers to rise to  challenge and team was complimented by excellent fielding – with Dhoni, Raina  and Kohli outstanding.

It was not as if India dominated throughout – at one stage, we were reeling on 104 for five with more than half the innings left, MSD  built useful partnerships worth 41 and 56 runs with Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Harbhajan Singh respectively, to revive the innings and later launched into SA’s bowling attack to ensure that his bowlers had a total to defend.

I have not been a great supporter of his inclusion – today Axar Patel (3/39)  claimed Hashim Amla and later accounted for JP Duminy and Faf du Plessis, who had threatened to take the game away from India with a 82-run stand. Bhuvneshwar claimed three while Harbhajan picked two to bowl SA out for 225.  The win took Holkar stadium’s tally to 4-0 – we have beaten beaten England twice, and West Indies and South Africa once each. Three of those four wins have come when India batted first and set targets.

The man whose finishing was doubted – Rabada spoke prematurely on having a plan for Dhoni and Cricket writers confided that these days, bowlers no longer bowl fullish length to him and cramp him with short stuff – MSD has the habit of finishing innings in the most flourishing way possible, and he did it again in Indore. After Kagiso Rabada frustrated him for five deliveries of the final over, Dhoni swung hard over midwicket ending on a high. The knock won him his 20th Man-of-the-Match awards in ODIs.   He  is now joint fifth among Indians - only Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Yuvraj Singh and Virender Sehwag have won more awards. (Dhoni has won 19 MoM awards when playing for India, and one when playing for Asia XI.)

Meantime, Murali Vijay, seeking to return to match fitness after missing two of India's three Tests in Sri Lanka due to a hamstring injury, defended balls from pacers for a while. He is all set to play against Mumbai in one of high profile clashes. 

Elsewhere, after breaking the 22-year-old record of Javed Miandad to become Pakistan's leading Test run-scorer, Younis Khan said he has the hunger to aim for the 10,000-run mark. Younis went past Miandad's tally of 8832 ….but has many more on top -  the first man to breach 10000 barrier was Sunil Gavaskar and the one on top is Sachin Tendulkar with 15921 test runs…. the others in that elite club are : Ricky Ponting, Kallis, Rahul Dravid, Kumara Sangakkara, Brian Lara, Shiv Chandedrpaul, Mahela Jayawardene, Alan Border and Steve Waugh.

Concluding it is reported that  BCCI has embarked on ‘Project Transformation’ and have engaged Deloitte, one of the biggest four accounting firms in the world, to undertake “Project Transformation”  expecting to strengthen its organisation structure, revolutionise operational practices; improve financial  controls and processes etc.,
Well, some know what all these really means !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
14th Oct 2015.
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